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“Compassionate Communication in All Its Forms” Book by Marcus Engel


Modern medical technology enables patients to recover more quickly than at any previous point in history. However, the human connection between patient and care provider remains the fundamental basis of recovery. “I am Here” is a personal story from the patient’s viewpoint. Marcus Engel’s book, Compassionate Communication in All Its Forms, is filled with practical advice, humor, and gratitude urges health workers to communicate in all kinds of compassion. Marcus is speaking from the heart. After being blinded and horrifyingly injured by a drunk motorist, he underwent years of hospitalization, treatment, and rehabilitation. Below are some of Marcus practical experience of handling patient’s situation and what I learned from them;

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Chapter 9

Gene Deune enters the room where Marcus and his parents are gathered to explain the treatment method. The parents are anxious to learn how the surgery will be carried out, but Marcus is not in the mood to listen to anything they are discussing. In addition, Marcus objected to the medical practitioners’ failure to introduce themselves with their titles. His parents, on the other hand, do not seem to be disturbed by the incident.

It is unpleasant for people to discuss frightening medical procedures that will be performed on you, much more so if you are currently in agony. Marcus was already feeling powerless, as he saw himself to be in a hopeless position. He was on drugs and had many sutures, which contributed to his weakness. If Marcus had listened to Gene’s explanation, his condition would have worsened because Marcus would have been thinking about how terrible the surgery would be. However, by avoiding Deane’s description, he was able to maintain his composure.

After reading chapter nine, I understood how patients feel when a doctor or nurse describes the therapeutic process they would undergo. However, allowing patients to hear such tales may frighten them and result in emotional torment. As a nurse practitioner, I have learned to maintain a patient’s calm. For example, if the patient is scheduled for surgery, I will not frighten them by explaining what will be done to their body. Additionally, I will announce myself to each patient when I want to speak with them, so they will have no questions about who I am.

Chapter 24

Marcus had the impression that the doctor did not value his time. He was forced to wait almost thirty minutes for the doctor to arrive and attend to him in three minutes. He describes how much agony he felt throughout his body, even though the operation was performed carefully. Additionally, he observed that some patients had more severe pain and injuries than he had. He was, nevertheless, delighted that he was going to be freed. At that point, after enduring the agony and treatments, all you want to do is leave the medical atmosphere and feel free. When the doctor and secretary held Marcus in the waiting room for over thirty minutes, it might have resulted in emotional torment, as he became frustrated. Worse still, he had no clue what was happening or when the doctor would attend to him. Psychological preparation would have aided him in maintaining patience and serenity throughout the whole.

Through Marcus’s experiences, I learned that doctors and nurses should respect a patient’s time. Failure to maintain track of time may deteriorate a patient’s health by causing them to become restless. Patients should be told how long it may take to service them to minimize annoyance. Before being seen, patients should be kept in a pleasant waiting area to comprehend what is happening. If the doctor arrives late due to an unforeseen situation, it is critical to apologize and explain. Throughout my business, I will strive to assist patients as quickly as possible to minimize needless delays.

Chapter 20

The family members do all possible to reassure Marcus about his health. His mother inquires as to what she may do to assist him. These attempts are intended to divert attention away from his physical ailments. Marcus seems uninterested in anybody at this time; he wants peace of mind. When others speak to him, he becomes annoyed and disturbed.

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It is natural for someone to experience low spirits at some point in their lives, especially if they are in pain. At such times, people want to demonstrate their concern for the patient by speaking with them, sending them a message of hope, and performing small tasks. While such acts of kindness are always intended to be beneficial, they may harm the patient by creating a sense of helplessness (Engel, 2010). Additionally, the patient may lose trust in everyone; thus, it is critical to maintaining their confidence.

I have learned that medical practitioners must instill confidence and trust in their patients’ families. Additionally, it helps the patient feel better about their situation. When a family establishes a positive relationship with family members, the patient gains confidence, as family members do not panic. Throughout my nursing career, I have learned how critical it is to conduct a brief counseling session with the patient’s family, explaining how they should handle a situation. This counseling helps avoid conflict between the patient and their parents or any other close relative who may be having a conversation that may hurt the patient’s feelings.


The “I am Here Act” is a worldwide initiative that encourages health care workers to commit to being here, reassuring, tracking patient time, and comforting patients and their families at their most vulnerable moments. Engel founded the non-profit to assist in altering the healthcare culture by just two words: “I am here.” By educating future health care workers on how to be more patient-centered, the course seeks to solve a perceived crisis in the doctor-patient connection – at a time when some institutions are limiting physicians’ time for the sake of profitability. Several courses emphasize how to be medically present with patients and provide students with practical tools for dealing with difficult circumstances.


Engel, Marcus. I am Here, Compassionate Communication in Patient Care. Orlando, FL: Phillips Press. 2010. Print.

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